UPSC Prelims 2020 Topics: 13 February 2020

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UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 : Complete Revision

UPSC Prelims 2020 Topics: 13 February 2020

  1. Hampi
  2. Iran celebrates 1979 Islamic Revolution.
  3. Uniform Civil Code.
  4. Private member’s Bill.
  5. Safer Internet Day.
  6. Scholarship for Higher Studies
  7. Storm Ciara.
  8. SPICe+
  9. SC/ST Amendment Act, 2018
  10. Anticipatory Bail
  11. International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
  12. Gender Gap
  13. Indian nationals living abroad.
  14. Cash Reserve Ratio
  15. UNHCR launches ‘2 Billion Kilometers to Safety’ campaign.
  16. Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL)

Hampi

Context: SC backs move of Karnataka government to demolish restaurants near Hampi site.

The court concluded that the constructions were in violation of the Mysore Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1961.

Background:

Previously, the Karnataka High Court had held that the Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority was empowered to order the demolition of the illegal buildings. UPSC Prelims 2020 Topics

About Hampi:

  1. It is a UNESCO world heritage site.
  2. It was a part of the Mauryan Empire back in the third century BC. 
  3. Hampi was the capital city during the four different dynasties altogether in the Vijayanagar city that came into existence in the year 1336 AD.
  4. The Vijayanagara Empire reached unfathomable heights under the guidance of King Krishnadeva Raya of the Tuluva Dynasty. 
  5. ‘Kishkindha Kaand’ in Ramayana has special significance concerning Hampi.
  6. It is located near the Tungabhadra river.
  7. By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world’s second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing, and probably India’s richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal.
  8. It has been described by UNESCO as an “austere, grandiose site” of more than 1,600 surviving remains of the last great Hindu kingdom in South India.

Gender Gap in Science Education

  • February 11 was the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, established by the United Nations to promote equal access to and participation in science for women and girls.
  • According to a 2018 fact sheet prepared by UNESCO on women in science, just 28.8% of researchers are women.
  • UNESCO data from 2014-16 show that only around 30% of female students select STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-related fields in higher education.
  • Female enrolment is particularly low in information technology (3%), natural science, mathematics and statistics (5%) and engineering and allied streams (8%).
  • Various studies have found that girls excel at mathematics and science-oriented subjects in school, but boys often believe they can do better, which shapes their choices in higher studies.
  • In 2015, an analysis of PISA scores by OECD found that the difference in maths scores between high-achieving boys and girls was the equivalent of about half a year at school.
  • But when comparing boys and girls who reported similar levels of self-confidence and anxiety about mathematics, the gender gap in performance disappeared, when girls were more anxious, they tended to perform poorly.
  • The NITI Aayog report said, “The problem of entry of women in science is not uniform across disciplines.

Government Scholarship for Higher Studies

  • Government of India has launched various scholarship schemes for Indian Students for pursuing higher studies abroad, which are as follows
  • National Overseas Scholarship for Scheduled Caste Students – The scheme is implemented by the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment under which financial assistance is provided to the meritorious Scheduled Caste students.
  • National Overseas Scholarship for Scheduled Tribe Students – The scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs where in financial assistance is provided to the meritorious Scheduled Tribe students.
  • Overseas Doctoral Fellowship Programme – The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology launched an Overseas Doctoral Fellowship Program with specific Universities to build national capacity where the talent supply of researchers in areas of interest to the country is sub-critical.
  • Sending Students Abroad for Research Internships – All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in collaboration with ‘Mathematics of Information Technology and Computer Systems (MITACS)’ provides a platform from 2018 to the students of AICTE approved institutions to undergo Internship in Canadian Universities through its scheme.
  • University Grants Commission (UGC) – Under Education Exchange Programme between India and Hungary, the Hungarian Govt. offers 200 scholarships to Indian students for pursuing Higher education in Hungarian Higher education institutions. UPSC Prelims 2020 Topics

SC/ST Amendment Act, 2018

  • The 2018 Supreme Court verdict had made a provision for anticipatory bail to offenders under Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act.
  • However, after strong protests against the dilution across the country, Union government removed this provision to bring the law back to its original form.
  • Recently SC upheld the amendments, ruling that though the provision of anticipatory bail is not available under the law, courts can quash FIRs in exceptional circumstances.
  • The court also ruled that preliminary enquiry is not a must in cases of atrocities against SCs/STs, and no prior approval of an appointing authority or senior police officers is required before filing FIRs.
  • However, a caveat that anticipatory bail should be granted only in extraordinary situations where a denial of bail would mean miscarriage of justice.

Cash Reserve Ratio

  • Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) is the share of a bank’s total deposit that is mandated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to be maintained with the latter in the form of liquid cash.
  • The Cash Reserve Ratio acts as one of the reference rates when determining the base rate.
  • Base rate means the minimum lending rate below which a bank is not allowed to lend funds.
  • The base rate is determined by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • The rate is fixed and ensures transparency with respect to borrowing and lending in the credit market.
  • The Base Rate also helps the banks to cut down on their cost of lending to be able to extend affordable loans.
  • Apart from this, there are two main objectives of the Cash Reserve Ratio:
  1. Cash Reserve Ratio ensures that a part of the bank’s deposit is with the Central Bank and is hence, secure.
  2. Another objective of CRR is to keep inflation under control. During high inflation in the economy, RBI raises the CRR to lower the bank’s loanable funds.

Iran celebrates 1979 Islamic Revolution

Context: Iran celebrates 1979 Islamic Revolution.

About Islamic Revolution:

Also called Islamic Revolution, it was a popular uprising in Iran in 1978–79 that resulted in the toppling of the monarchy on February 11, 1979, and led to the establishment of an Islamic republic.

Reasons advanced for the revolution include:

  1. A backlash against Western imperialism.
  2. the 1953 Iranian coup d’état.
  3. a rise in expectations created by the 1973 oil revenue windfall.
  4. an overly ambitious economic program.
  5. anger over a short, sharp economic contraction in 1977–78.
  6. other shortcomings of the previous regime.

Outcomes:

Following the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the Islamic Republic was formed under Khomeini’s rule. The U.S. Embassy in Iran was taken over by a group of Muslim students and 52 U.S. diplomats and citizens were taken hostage on November 4, 1979. This event came to be known as the Iran Hostage Crisis.

Uniform Civil Code

Context: Last week, while hearing a matter relating to properties of a Goan, the Supreme Court described Goa as a “shining example” with a Uniform Civil Code, observed that the founders of the Constitution had “hoped and expected” a Uniform Civil Code for India but there has been no attempt at framing one.

What is uniform civil code?

A generic set of governing laws for every citizen without taking into consideration the religion.

What the constitution says?

Article 44 of the Constitution says that there should be a Uniform Civil Code. According to this article, “The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. Since the Directive Principles are only guidelines, it is not mandatory to use them. UPSC Prelims 2020 Topics

India needs a Uniform Civil Code for the following reasons:

  1. A secular republic needs a common law for all citizens rather than differentiated rules based on religious practices.
  2. Another reason why a uniform civil code is needed is gender justice. The rights of women are usually limited under religious law, be it Hindu or Muslim. The practice of triple talaq is a classic example.
  3. Many practices governed by religious tradition are at odds with the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Indian Constitution.
  4. Courts have also often said in their judgements that the government should move towards a uniform civil code including the judgement in the Shah Bano case.

Does India not already have a uniform code in civil matters?

  • Indian laws do follow a uniform code in most civil matters – Indian Contract Act, Civil Procedure Code, Sale of Goods Act, Transfer of Property Act, Partnership Act, Evidence Act etc. States, however, have made hundreds of amendments and therefore in certain matters, there is diversity even under these secular civil laws. Recently, several states refused to be governed by the uniform Motor Vehicles Act, 2019.
  • If the framers of the Constitution had intended to have a Uniform Civil Code, they would have given exclusive jurisdiction to Parliament in respect of personal laws, by including this subject in the Union List. But “personal laws” are mentioned in the Concurrent List.

Last year, the Law Commission concluded that a Uniform Civil Code is neither feasible nor desirable.

Why is UCC may not desirable at this point?

Secularism cannot contradict the plurality prevalent in the country. Besides, cultural diversity cannot be compromised to the extent that our urge for uniformity itself becomes a reason for threat to the territorial integrity of the nation.

The term ‘secularism’ has meaning only if it assures the expression of any form of difference. This diversity, both religious and regional, should not get subsumed under the louder voice of the majority. At the same time, discriminatory practices within a religion should not hide behind the cloak of that faith to gain legitimacy.

How does the idea of a Uniform Civil Code relate to the fundamental right to religion?

Article 25 lays down an individual’s fundamental right to religion; Article 26(b) upholds the right of each religious denomination or any section thereof to “manage its own affairs in matters of religion”; Article 29 defines the right to conserve distinctive culture.

An individual’s freedom of religion under Article 25 is subject to “public order, health, morality” and other provisions relating to fundamental rights, but a group’s freedom under Article 26 has not been subjected to other fundamental rights

In the Constituent Assembly, there was division on the issue of putting Uniform Civil Code in the fundamental rights chapter. The matter was settled by a vote. By a 5:4 majority, the fundamental rights sub-committee headed by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel held that the provision was outside the scope of fundamental rights and therefore the Uniform Civil Code was made less important than freedom of religion.

What is needed now?

Need of the hour is the codification of all personal laws so that prejudices and stereotypes in every one of them would come to light and can be tested on the anvil of fundamental rights of the Constitution. By codification of different personal laws, one can arrive at certain universal principles that prioritise equity rather than imposition of a Uniform Code, which would discourage many from using the law altogether, given that matters of marriage and divorce can also be settled extra-judicially.

Private member’s Bill

Context: Four Members of Parliament are ready with Private Member’s Bill in the Lok Sabha offering a way out for the central government to deal with high unemployment. UPSC Prelims 2020 Topics

The four bills are:

  1. Unemployment Allowance Bill 2019 propose doling out some form of unemployment allowance to jobless citizens.
  2. Financial Assistance to Unemployed Post-Graduates Bill 2019 restricts the unemployment allowances to unemployed postgraduates only.
  3. Unemployed Youth (Allowance and Employment Opportunities) Bill 2019 eyes the twin-purpose of generating gainful employment opportunities and payment of unemployment allowance.
  4. Another Unemployment Allowance Bill proposes unemployment allowances for jobless youth until they get gainful employment.

Background:

Unable to tame rising unemployment has been the biggest criticism against the present government in its near six-year tenure. Part of the blame does lie with the central government itself. More than 6.83 lakh posts are lying vacant in the central government.

Who is a Private Member?

Any MP who is not a Minister is referred to as a private member.

Admissibility of a private member’s Bill:

The admissibility is decided by the Chairman for Rajya Sabha and Speaker in the case of Lok Sabha.

The procedure is roughly the same for both Houses:

  • The Member must give at least a month’s notice before the Bill can be listed for introduction.
  • The House secretariat examines it for compliance with constitutional provisions and rules on legislation before listing.

Is there any exception?

While government Bills can be introduced and discussed on any day, private member’s Bills can be introduced and discussed only on Fridays.

Has a private member’s bill ever become a law?

As per PRS Legislative, no private member’s Bill has been passed by Parliament since 1970. To date, Parliament has passed 14 such Bills, six of them in 1956. In the 14th Lok Sabha, of the over 300 private member’s Bills introduced, roughly four per cent were discussed, the remaining 96 per cent lapsed without a single dialogue.

Safer Internet Day:

This year, February 11 is being observed as Safer Internet Day (SID).

The SID initiative first began in Europe, but is now recognised in around 150 countries worldwide.

Aim: To increase awareness about emerging online issues, such as cyberbullying, and chooses a topic reflecting current concerns.

  • This year, the theme is “Together for a better internet”.
  • It is organised by the Insafe/INHOPE network of awareness centres, that is spread across 30 countries and is funded by the Connecting Europe Facility program (CEF) of the EU.
  • In India, the New Delhi-based NGO DISC (Developing Internet Safe Community) Foundation is the SID Committee.
Storm Ciara:
  • It is a latest storm to hit Northern Europe.
  • It is expected to hit Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany.
  • In Germany, it is being referred to as ‘Sabine’. The storm has two names because there isn’t yet a pan-European system in place for labeling weather systems. UPSC Prelims 2020 Topics
International Day of Women and Girls in Science:

February 11 was the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

It was established by the United Nations to promote equal access to and participation in science for women and girls.

Key facts:

  1. According to a 2018 fact sheet prepared by UNESCO on women in science, just 28.8% of researchers are women.
  2. It defines researchers as “professionals engaged in the conception or creation of new knowledge”. In India, this drops to 13.9%.
  3. Between 1901 and 2019, 334 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to 616 Laureates in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine, of which just 20 have been won by 19 women. The double Laureate is Marie Curie.
  4. In 2019, the American mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck became the first woman to win the Abel Prize, following 16 male mathematicians.
  5. The Fields Medal so far has also been awarded to only one woman mathematician, the late Maryam Mirzakhani of Iran, as opposed to 59 men since 1936. UPSC Prelims 2020 Topics

SPICe+

  • Ministry of Corporate Affairs deployed a new Web Form christened ‘SPICe+’, replacing the existing SPICe form.
  • The initiative is a part of India’s effort to improve Ease of Doing Business (EODB).
  • SPICe+ would offer 10 services by 3 Central Govt Ministries & Departments. (Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Labour & Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance) and One State Govt.(Maharashtra), thereby saving as many procedures, time and cost for Starting a Business in India.
  • It would be applicable for all new company incorporations.
  • It features are as follows:

1. SPICe+ would be an integrated Web Form.

2. SPICe+ would have two parts viz.: Part A-for Name reservation for new companies and Part B offering a bouquet of services.

Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL)

  • NDTL refers to the total demand and time liabilities (deposits) of the public that are held by the banks with other banks.
  • Demand deposits consist of all liabilities, which the bank needs to pay on demand.
  • They include current deposits, demand drafts, balances in overdue fixed deposits, and demand liabilities portion of savings bank deposits.
  • Time deposits consist of deposits that will be repaid on maturity, where the depositor will not be able to withdraw his/her deposits immediately.
  • Instead, he/she will have to wait until the lock-in tenure is over to access the funds.
  • Fixed deposits, time liabilities portion of savings bank deposits, and staff security deposits are some examples.
  • The liabilities of a bank include call money market borrowings, certificate of deposits, and investment deposits in other banks.
  • Every bank must have a specified portion of their Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL) in the form of cash, gold, or other liquid assets by the day’s end. UPSC Prelims 2020 Topics
Indian nationals living abroad:
  • There are over 1.36 crore Indian nationals living abroad, as per the latest data.
  • The highest number of Indians abroad are living in the United Arab Emirates, where the 34,20,000 Indians comprise about one-fourth of all Indians abroad.
  • The UAE is followed by Saudi Arabia (25,94,947), the US (12,80,000), Kuwait (10,29,861), Oman (7,79,351), Qatar (7,56,062), Nepal (5,00,000), UK (3,51,000), Singapore (3,50,000) and Bahrain (3,23,292).
UPSC Prelims 2020 Topics: Indians_Abroad
UNHCR launches ‘2 Billion Kilometers to Safety’ campaign:
  • The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR has announced a new global campaign urging people worldwide to cover the total distance travelled by refugees each year – 2 billion kilometers – by running, jogging or walking.
  • The “2 Billion Kilometers to Safety” campaign vies to encourage people to support refugees by championing individual acts of solidarity.
  • The goal is to acknowledge the resilience and strength of refugees. 

GS2: Governance

The difference between private and government Bills in Parliament(IE) While a government Bill can be introduced and discussed on any day, a private member’s bill can only be introduced and discussed on Fridays.

₹81.67 crore worth electoral bonds sold before Delhi Assembly Elections, RTI query shows (TH) Scheme attracted criticism for lack of transparency in political funding.

Bill to regulate pesticide business gets green light (TH) The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Pesticides Management Bill, 2020, which, the go- vernment claims will regu- late the business of pesti- cides and compensate farmers in case of losses from the use of spurious agro-chemicals.

Reading medical devices rules (IE) Following changes notified by the government, medical devices will be regulated on the same lines as drugs. What devices are covered, what has changed, and why was this move felt necessary?

GS2: International Relations

Rohingya can’t be kept in jail after serving term: HC (TH) The refugees will have to be taken to a safe place and continue to be monitored, says Bench

U.S. President Trump confirms India visit (TH) US President Donald Trump will make his first official visit to India later this month, capping weeks of speculation on the trip that is expected to witness deepening of defence cooperation and signing of a trade pact.

GS3: Economy

Why industrial production has contracted, what it means for the economy IE- Explained The fall in IIP comes just a day after the Finance Minister quoted IIP data to argue the emergence of ‘green shoots’ in the Indian economy.

It’s a relief FM did not succumb to spending our way out of the growth slump(IE) As much as the headline fiscal deficit numbers are a cause for concern, the underlying quality of fiscal consolidation is a bigger concern.

GS3: Science and Technology

Indian Express: What is SuperCam? Atop new Mars rover, a robot that fires lasers to study rocks, and will look for signs of past life on Red Planet

GS1: Indian Geography

Ministry of Earth Sciences may go in for decadal forecast system (TH) System based on need for long-term predictions; will begin as research.

GS2: Governance

Cleaning of drains & septic tanks claims 110 lives in 2019 (TH) The number of people who died while cleaning sewers and septic tanks in the country increased by almost 62% from 68 in 2018 to 110 in 2019, according to a reply given by the Social Justice and Empowerment (SJE) Ministry to the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Six years on, Lokpal is a non-starter (TH) The necessary rules, regulations and machinery are still not in place

Medical devices to come under drugs regulator’s purview starting 1 April (Mint) All medical devices, including implants and contraceptives, will be brought under the lens of CDSCO in a phased manner. UPSC Prelims 2020 Topics

GS2: International Relations

First call (TH) India and Sri Lanka share close ties, but distrust and differences remain

GS3: Economy

A new approach on investment (TH) For India and the U.S., this will be critical to sustain momentum coming out of a first trade deal

GS3: Environment

Renewable energy: India’s wind power sector is in a downward spiral (DTE)The sector is losing its sheen, with dropping capacity addition, lukewarm response to new auctions, and a plummeting manufacturing sector

GS2: Governance

Supreme Court upholds changes to SC/ST atrocities law (TH) The March 20 judgment had diluted the original 1989 legislation, saying they were using its provisions to file false criminal complaints against innocent persons

‘Review court can refer questions to larger Bench’ (TH) The Supreme Court on Monday held that its five-judge Bench can refer questions of law to a larger Bench while exercising its limited power under review-jurisdiction in the Sabarimala case.

Draft policy on rare diseases notified (TH) Judges not satisfied with the provision of ₹15 lakh for one-time curative treatment

Reservation as right (TH) Ensuring adequate representation to disadvantaged sections is a state obligation

Explained: Uniform Civil Code — the debate, the status (IE) Recent observations by the Supreme Court have put the spotlight back on the debate over a Uniform Civil Code. What would such a Code seek to achieve, and what have been the arguments for and against it?

Explained: Fine-tuning the Surrogacy Bill (IE) A Select Committee has given its report on the Surrogacy Regulation Bill, recommending that surrogacy should not be restricted to close relatives. A look at the provisions and journey of the Bill since 2016. UPSC Prelims 2020 Topics

GS3: Environment

Safeguarding the delta The move for a protected agriculture zone in T.N. favours food security over energy greed

GS3: Science and Technology
Explained: What is Solar Orbiter, and how does it differ from previous missions to the Sun? (IE) The Solar Orbiter mission, which will take the first pictures of the top and bottom of the sun, is worth approximately Rs11,700 crore.

Source: PIB, AIR, Economic Times, The Hindu, Indian Express etc.

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UPPSC GK Yearbook 2020: Uttar Pradesh Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

The history of Uttar Pradesh is very ancient and interesting. It is recognised in the later Vedic Age as Brahmarshi Desha or Madhya Desha. Many great sages of the Vedic times like Bhardwaja, Gautam, Yagyavalkaya, Vashishtha, Vishwamitra and Valmiki flourished in this state. Several sacred books of the Aryans were also composed here. Two great epics of India, Ramayana and Mahabharata, appear to have been inspired by Uttar Pradesh.

In the sixth century B.C., Uttar Pradesh was associated with two new religions – Jainism and Buddhism. It was at Sarnath that Buddha preached his first sermon and laid the foundations of his order, and it was in Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, where Buddha breathed his last. Several centres in Uttar Pradesh like Ayodhya, Prayag, Varanasi and Mathura became reputed centres of learning. In the medieval period, Uttar Pradesh passed under Muslim rule and led the way to new synthesis of Hindu and Islamic cultures. Ramananda and his Muslim disciple Kabir, Tulsidas, Surdas and many other intellectuals contributed to the growth of Hindi and other languages. UPPSC GK Yearbook 2020

Uttar Pradesh preserved its intellectual excellence even under the British administration. The British combined Agra and Oudh into one province and called it United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. The name was shortened to the United Provinces in 1935. In January 1950 the United Provinces was renamed as Uttar Pradesh.

The State is bound by Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh in the north, Haryana in the west, Madhya Pradesh in the South and Bihar in the east. Uttar Pradesh can be divided into two distinct regions (i) Southern Hills and (ii) Gangetic Plain.

The biggest congregation, perhaps of the world, Kumbha Mela is held at Allahabad every twelfth year and Ardh kumbh Mela every sixth year. Magh Mela is also held at Allahabad in January when the people come in large number to have a dip in the holy Sangam.

Uttar Pradesh, with a total area of 243,290 square kilometres (93,935 sq mi), is India’s fourth-largest state in terms of land area and is roughly of same size as United Kingdom. It is situated on the northern spout of India and shares an international boundary with Nepal. The Himalayas border the state on the north, but the plains that cover most of the state are distinctly different from those high mountains. The larger Gangetic Plain region is in the north; it includes the Ganges-Yamuna Doab, the Ghaghra plains, the Ganges plains and the Terai. The smaller Vindhya Range and plateau region is in the south. It is characterised by hard rock strata and a varied topography of hills, plains, valleys and plateaus. The Bhabhar tract gives place to the terai area which is covered with tall elephant grass and thick forests interspersed with marshes and swamps. The sluggish rivers of the Bhabhar deepen in this area, their course running through a tangled mass of thick undergrowth. The terai runs parallel to the Bhabhar in a thin strip. The entire alluvial plain is divided into three sub-regions. The first in the eastern tract consisting of 14 districts which are subject to periodical floods and droughts and have been classified as scarcity areas. These districts have the highest density of population which gives the lowest per capita land. The other two regions, the central and the western are comparatively better with a well-developed irrigation system. They suffer from water logging and large-scale user tracts. In addition, the area is fairly arid. The state has more than 32 large and small rivers; of them, the Ganges, Yamuna, Saraswati, Sarayu, Betwa, and Ghaghara are larger and of religious importance in Hinduism. UPPSC GK Yearbook 2020

Uttar Pradesh is the rainbow land where the multi-hued Indian Culture has blossomed from times immemorial. Blessed with a varaity of geographical land and many cultural diversities, Uttar Pradesh, has been the area of activity of historical heroes like – Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Mahavira, Ashoka, Harsha, Akbar and Mahatma Gandhi. Rich and tranquil expanses of meadows, perennial rivers, dense forestsand fertile soil of Uttar Pradesh have contributed numerous golden chapters to the annals of Indian History. Dotted with various holy shrines and piligrim places,full of joyous festivals, it plays an important role in the politics, education, culture, industry, agriculture and tourism of India.

Garlanded by the Ganga and Yamuna. The two pious rivers of Indian mythology, Uttar Pradesh is surrounded by Bihar in the East, Madhya Pradesh in the South, Rajasthan, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana in the west and Uttaranchal in the north and Nepal touch the northern borders of Uttar Pradesh, it assumes strategic importance for Indian defence. Its area of 2,36,286 sq kms. lies between latitude 24 deg to 31 deg and longitude 77 deg to 84 deg East. Area wise it is the fourth largest State of India. In sheer magnitude it is half of the area of France, three times of Portugal, four times of Ireland, seven times of Switzerland, ten times of Belgium and a little bigger than England. UPPSC GK Yearbook 2020

The British East India Company came into contact with the Awadh rulers during the reign of IIIrd Nawab of Awadh. There is no doubt that the history of Uttar Pradesh has run concurrently with the history of the country during and after the British rule, but it is also well-known that the contribution of the people of the State in National Freedom Movement had been significant.

The cultural heritage of Uttar pradesh was maintained in the period of the Ramayan and Mahabharat i.e. the epic period. The story of Ramayan revolves round the Ikshwaku dynasty of Kosal and of Mahabharat a round the ‘Kuru’ dynasty of Hastinapur. Local people firmly believe that the Ashram of Valmiki, the author of Ramayan, was in Brahmavart (Bithoor in Kanpur District) and it was in the surroundings of Naimisharany (Nimsar-Misrikh in Sitapur district) that Suta narrated the story of Mahabharat as he had heard it from Vyasji. Some of the Smritis and Puranas were also written in this State.Gautam Buddha, Mahavir, Makkhaliputta Goshal and great thinkers brought about a revolution in Uttar Pradesh in 6th century B.C. Out of these, Makkhaliputta Goshal, who was born at Shravan near Shravasti, was the founder of Ajivika sect…………………